Sega Ages Fantasy Zone

Game review by
Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media
Sega Ages Fantasy Zone Game Poster Image
Classic shooter aims for the stars on new system.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Technically, this is a story about good versus evil, but there's not really any overt messaging provided. It's really just a classic arcade shooter.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players take on the role of an intelligent spaceship. There's virtually no story development, so you don't know much apart from shooting everything on-screen that moves.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; game is easy to learn. Challenge lies in dodging incoming fire, avoiding erratic moves of enemy ships.

Violence & Scariness

While this is a fast-paced shooter against enemy vessels, graphics are colorful and cartoonish, reducing impact of violence. Destroyed enemies explode in giant splash of color, with no blood or gore shown.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sega Ages Fantasy Zone is a downloadable arcade shooter for the Nintendo Switch. The game is an updated version of a classic 1985 arcade game, where players take on the role of an intelligent space ship fighting off an invading army. It's a fast-paced shooter against a variety of enemy ships, where destroyed enemies explode in a splash of light, but the colorful and cartoonish graphics limit the impact of the violence, and no blood or gore is shown. Controls are very easy to learn, and are simpler thanks to the optional extras, including the feature to collect bonus cash to purchase additional items in the in-game store. The biggest challenge is in avoiding the various ships and incoming attacks they fire. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content included. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Sega Ages Fantasy Zone.

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What's it about?

SEGA AGES FANTASY ZONE is a remastered version of the classic 1985 arcade game, where players take on the role of Opa-Opa, an intelligent ship that lives in the Fantasy Zone. One day, the economy of the zone collapses thanks to an army that invades and builds a base inside its peaceful territory. It's up to Opa-Opa to take arms and destroy the invaders, liberating the zone from its clutches. This updated version of the shooter adds new features, such as a coin stockpile to give you additional items you can buy in a store, as well as a time attack mode to quickly run through stages and bosses. Players can even take on opponents as Opa-Opa's brother, Upa-Upa.

Is it any good?

This classic shooter soars on a new console, bringing arcade fun to a whole new generation. Sega Ages Fantasy Zone is the remastered version of one of the more colorful arcade shooters ever released (it actually helped coin the term "cute 'em up"). As Opa-Opa, your mission was to destroy enemy ships with bombs, bullets, and special weapons in an attempt to repel an invading army on each stage. Defeating enemies would cause them to drop coins, which could be picked up and spent in an in-game shop (marked by a floating balloon that occasionally would appear) to buy engine and weapon upgrades, and even extra ships. This version has re-created the original game perfectly, and while this game is incredibly easy to learn how to play and control, the challenge is in avoiding the incoming bullets that are fired your way, as well as the erratic movements of enemy ships that could suddenly veer in your path.

But what helps Sega Ages Fantasy Zone stand out are the extra game modes, which make the gameplay feel fresh and different. For example, the coin stockpile will give you a head start on the number of coins you can spend in a store, which means that you can enter a stage better equipped to destroy enemies. A large coin stockpile is also important if you choose to take on the game as Upa-Upa, because every shot that ship takes spends coins, which adds extra tension to the gameplay: Do you constantly shoot and waste money, play it safe and only shoot when necessary, or dive for every coin you release from enemies, even though it could cost you a ship in the end? This can sometimes force split-second decisions during the game, but also makes it feel like a faster shooter. Add this with a time attack mode that focuses on flying through stages as quickly as possible, and the game becomes complex enough for shooter veterans but accessible enough for newcomers. Sega Ages Fantasy Zone proves that some classics can indeed get better with age.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Sega Ages Fantasy Zone affected by the lack of realistic blood and gore? Would the game feel as enjoyable or engaging if it had more realistic visuals?

  • What makes a classic game so enjoyable? Do you need a complex plot if the gameplay is enjoyable? Are graphics important for fun, or does it need to be clever and creative in how the game shows on-screen action?

Game details

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For kids who love action

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